14 The number of strip clubs that would be allowed to operate on Bourbon Street if the New Orleans City Council approves a new study from the City Planning Commission.
Exotic dancers and other employees of New Orleans strip clubs packed the New Orleans City Council chambers June 28 for a hearing of the City Planning Commission. The commission released a study last month that proposed limiting the number of strip clubs in the city, which also would force any Bourbon Street club that closed for more than six months not to reopen.
The goal, said plan backer Jim Kelly of Covenant House, would be to reduce prostitution and human trafficking of dancers — but the dancers who spoke at the meeting said they didn't see human trafficking in their clubs, and some suggested the clubs were a safer environment than the streets of the French Quarter. Robert Watters, owner of Rick's Cabaret, stressed that his club was a good neighbor and followed all applicable laws.
In January, the Council asked for a study to be done on further regulating strip clubs after passing an ordinance requiring employees to be 21 years old — a law that was replicated at the state level in May.